Amateur Gardening

Poor cropping

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QI have tried to grow ‘Patio Star’ courgettes, but each time they have failed. The fruits start well but then they soften and rot. Can you tell me what I am doing wrong?

Keith Green (via email)

AThe usual reason for the failure of courgette crops is lack of pollinatio­n. Bees and other insects normally do this. The solution is to hand-pollinate blooms.

Simply remove a male flower, which has a long unswollen stalk, and dab a pollen-laden anther onto a female stigma. Alternativ­ely, you can use a soft paintbrush to transfer the pollen in the same way.

 ??  ?? Courgettes often need pollinatin­g by hand
Courgettes often need pollinatin­g by hand

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